We’re walking the Camino de Santiago in June 2022. Come along with us!

Day 8: Roads converge

Today we walked from Triacastela to Sarria, a relatively light day. Not that it felt like it when the first hour and a half was an uphill climb. We’ve learned not to trust Google maps when it comes to elevation reports—everything is always “relatively flat” but somehow quite hilly. Nevertheless…

Leaving Triacastela after sunrise.
What are these beautiful flowers? Today we seemed to walk through a sea of green, with these bright purple dots of color.

Days on the Camino fall into a sort of pattern. Rise early, repack the bag as needed, grab breakfast if possible (it’s not served in every albergue, and most local establishments don’t open until much later), and hit the road. Along the way, we stop for second, and sometimes third, breakfasts—café con leche, zumo de naranja, a croissant or slice of tarta de Santiago. Lunch is usually on the road too—often a bocadillo (an incredibly tough hunk of bread with cheese and the ever-present jamón) or tortilla española. Today we walked about eight miles before finding second breakfast and were in Sarria before we stopped for a bocadillo, so the rhythm was a bit off. On this walk, it’s literally the small things.

Our place in Sarria is a dormitory—20 beds, a men’s bath and a women’s bath with one toilet each. A few beds seem to be occupied, but at this writing (10 pm) it’s hard to tell which of the voices in the courtyard are our bunk mates. The sun is just now setting, and it’s still light enough to see into the courtyard, where a random dog is barking. At eleven, it will be lights out. We had a lovely dinner with Margharita from Bologna, an urban planner walking the Camino from O Cebreiro by herself. Sarria seems like a huge town in comparison to the shuttered towns we’ve walked through, but Wiki tells me it’s only 39,000. Towns here are built up and close, so there are no big lawns or front yards. People have much more contact with each other; they simply have to get along to make it work.

My eyelids are getting heavy—so it’s time for the day’s photo dump. Tomorrow, 22 km to Portomarin. -Paula

The route led us between small towns, many of which were completely closed with few signs of life other than the occasional farmer on a tractor. Small towns in Spain have suffered the same fate as small towns in America—younger people leave for bigger cities, more opportunities. The added factor here is Covid—entire town populations were decimated in the early days of the pandemic.
Will at the pilgrim fountain, in literally the middle of nowhere. Fun fact: he decided not to try the water.
Gorgeous views… although this was after our sharp descent.
Town cemetery.
Cow crossing!
If I look red-faced and sweaty, don’t be alarmed. I’ve been this way for eight days! But look at these cows and sheep in the background living their best lives (except for that one that’s worrisomely still).
Sometimes I look back… mostly with gratitude that I don’t have to climb that hill/walk those steps again.
And finally, as it was getting quite warm, we saw Sarria in the distance. We’re probably 4km away here.
Crossing the river in Sarria. Lovely.
Being trolled by today’s Duolingo lesson.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: